NEW YORK (IDN)— Dr. Sima Sami Bahous, 65, a former Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with links to the Royal family, has been appointed the Executive Director of UN Women. IDN reported on September 6 that she was the front runner for the post. UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced her appointment on September 10.
Mr. Guterres said: “Ms. Bahous brings to this position extensive international, regional and national experience in advocating for women’s issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus-building, a collaborative approach that values multi-stakeholder engagement and hands-on management.”
She succeeds Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa, who joined in 2013 and left the position on August 17, 2021. The post is being temporarily held by Under-Secretary-General Pramila Patten as officer-in-charge of UN Women, effective August 18, 2021.
Dr Bahous has served in several ministerial posts in Jordan and in high level Arab League and United Nations positions.
She was Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Arab States from 2012. Between 2008 and 2012, she was the Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Development Sector at the League of Arab States.
From 2008 to 2012, Dr. Bahous served as Assistant Secretary-General at the League of Arab States and headed the Social Development Sector. From 2001-2008, she served in two ministerial level posts in Jordan: as Adviser to King Abdullah at the Royal Hashemite Court (2005-2006), and as President of the Higher Media Council (2006-2008).
She also served as Media Advisor and Head of His Majesty King Abdullah’s Media and Information Division at the Royal Hashemite Court (2001-2005).
Between 1986 and 2001 Dr. Bahous held various positions which included Executive Director of the King Hussein Foundation and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation, Professor of Development and Communication at Yarmouk University and Petra University, member of the Board of Trustees of a number of academic, media and NGO organizations, including the Jordan University for Science and Technology, Jordan Radio and Television Corporation, the Jordan River Foundation, the Higher Population Council and the Higher Commission for Women.
Dr. Bahous holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Development from Indiana University, USA; a Master of Arts in Literature and Drama from Essex University, UK; and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Jordan University. [IDN-InDepthNews – 11 September 2021]
Photo: Dr. Sima Sami Bahous. Source: International Peace Institute